Fort Jefferson

In 1780, Gen. George Rogers Clark, having established the county of Illinois in the northwest, in behalf of Virginia, in the name of the same state took possession of a bluff on the east shore of the Mississippi, five miles below the mouth of the Ohio, where he erected Fort Jefferson, which was garrisoned with a hundred men. But the Chickasaws, within whose limits the post stood, remonstrated that this proceeding was without their consent, and that no purchase had been made of them of the site. The governor of Virginia had directed such a purchase to be made, but the commandant seemed to be unwilling to act. Consequently the Chickasaws got ready a war party, under Colbert, the Scotch half-breed, and attacked the post with a large force in the fall of 1781. The garrison had been reduced to thirty men, who were subjected to a continual onslaught for six days. But the fort was strongly built and well supplied with light artillery, and the Chickasaws were held at bay until the arrival of reinforcements under Clark, when the Indians retired. Soon afterward the governor of Virginia ordered the post abandoned as useless, and serving only to provoke the Chickasaws. This was done and hostilities ceased. (Monett, Val. Miss., II, 122, M. H. S. Publ., VIII, 556.)

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Mississippi History

Source: Encyclopedia of Mississippi History, by Dunbar Rowland.

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